How is the coronavirus vaccine rollout going in Wales?

By Thursday 14 January, 112,973 people in Wales had received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine since the rollout began in early December.

Armed with two vaccines, the Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Pfizer-BioNtech jabs, healthcare workers have been administering them to the most vulnerable people.

Welsh Government have repeatedly said they are working through the priority list set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) on who should receive vaccines first. This is so protection from the virus is initially given to those who are most susceptible to it.

The Welsh Government aim to vaccinate the top four priority groups by mid-February and all over 50s by the spring, but how quickly is the rollout going at the moment and is that target achievable?

Vaccination hubs have been set up across Wales. Credit: ITV Wales

By 10pm on Wednesday 13 January, 112,973 people in Wales had been vaccinated.

That is enough people to fill the stands at the Principality Stadium, Liberty Stadium and Parc Y Scarlets all at once.

Of that 112,973 total, 121 people have received two doses of the vaccine.

Data source: Public Health Wales

These figures indicate that the pace of the rollout is increasing. For example on Monday, 5,200 people received their first dose but the next day 10,132 people got their initial jab.

The amount of doses being administered each day has increased.

The latest figures mean around 3.6% of Wales' population has received a first coronavirus vaccine dose.

Only around 0.1% of those who have had their first dose have also had a second dose but that is because the JCVI issued renewed advice on lengthening the gap between first and second jabs at the end of December.

Most people will now wait between eight and twelve weeks after their first dose to receive their final one.

By increasing the gap between jabs, supplies can be used to give more people that first dose and offer them at least some protection from Covid-19.

Those considered to be most vulnerable to Covid-19, like the elderly, are being vaccinated first. Credit: PA Images

Figures correct up to Sunday 10 January also show that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have administered the most vaccine doses out of all Welsh health boards and trusts.

Number of coronavirus vaccine doses administered by each Welsh health board/trust up until Sunday 10 January:

  • Betsi Cadwaladr UHB - 16,283

  • Aneurin Bevan UHB - 15,160

  • Swansea Bay UHB - 12,364

  • Cardiff and Vale UHB - 12,328

  • Hywel Dda UHB - 12,292

  • Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB - 12,243

  • Powys Teaching HB - 5,981

  • Velindre NHS Trust - 1,512

There is around 740,350 people in the top four groups prioritised for the vaccine. Credit: PA Images

Welsh Government aim to have all care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care staff, anyone aged over 70 and everyone classed as clinically extremely vulnerable vaccinated by mid-February.

That means there is roughly 31 more days to administer 627,377 jabs - working out at around 20,238 per day.

Although Wales is currently only reaching around half that number, the increase in pace day-on-day does show that the daily number of doses is likely to continue to rise.

Speaking to ITV Wales, the Welsh Health Minister said: "I expect that that milestone will be achieved if we receive continued supply of the vaccine in the numbers we expect."

On Wednesday 13, Wales' Chief Medical Officer did not rule out extending opening hours for vaccinations but did note this would depend on staffing and supply levels.

Welsh Government have said they plan for more than 100 GP practices to be running vaccination clinics by January 15. This will increase to 250 before the end of the month.

There are also 22 mass-vaccination centres in Wales, with plans to open a further 13 over the coming weeks.

So how does Wales compare to other UK nations?

Wales currently lags behind all other UK nations, with Northern Ireland outperforming Wales, England and Scotland in the speed of their vaccination rollout.

Wales' health minister, Vaughan Gething, acknowledged that Wales was lagging "slightly" behind but said "we are making real progress" and "the differences are relatively small".

Mr Gething said the reason Wales is behind is "because of the troubles we had deploying enough of the Pfizer vaccine".

He added: "I think those logistical challenges are largely behind us.

"I do think with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine you will see a really rapid increase and the numbers we're talking about in the first four weeks of the programme are going to be dwarfed by what we're going to do week-on-week moving forward."